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will be. It was absolutely necessary that great mistakes and great injustices should happen in a machine thrown together in this way, laboring under this condition, in intense excitement and great peril to the world.
That mistakes occurred; that they were serious and many, is beyond any sort of question. I do not blame anybody for them. They happened; they would happen again. The question for me is what are we going to do about it now? I do not blame Mr. Wilson or Mr. Baker, whom I have known for fifteen years, and know to be an intelligent, high-minded, humane man, one of the best I ever knew. Both he and Mr. Wilson have so managed their work that they have lost the friendship of both the conservatives and radicals. And you are doing pretty well when you do that! I know one is doing well, for I have done it myself! And I want to say that I fully believe—though it does not prevent me from saying what I think on this question—that I fully believe it will not be very long until Mr. Wilson will show where he stands on this question that he stands for humanity and mercy! Now, you can see whether I have prophesied right or not. If he does not do it, it will not prevent my saying what I think about it! I think it should be done, and done quickly.
Now, I am for giving everybody a fair show. And one should consider the work Mr. Wilson has had to do, the condition of his health, and the serious difficulties in his position, and judge honestly instead of condemning, unthinkingly. I read the other day what one of the pillars of the Progressive Party said about him—Senator Poindexter of out west somewhere—he said that President Wilson had encouraged anarchism and bolshevism more than any other man in America, and both he and Baker have received the most brutal, extreme, unrelenting condemnation by that class of people who pride themselves as being one hundred per cent American—whatever that means. So, I am willing to suspend judgment.
Now, let us see some of the general causes of the great difficulty that brings about these mistakes. There are three or four classes of people that I want to speak about. There are those people, some sixteen thousand in 1918, who were condemned by courts martial. In the main they received barbarous, extreme and medieval sentences. What are some of the general causes? In the first place, under an obsolete tradition, every court martial was made up of officers; no private could be tried by privates. He was tried by officers. These officers were young, inexperienced and clothed with an ex-